Star appoints Finch as CEO of Brisbane operations

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Finch will oversee activities at the Star Brisbane casino, which is currently being located to a new site. The venue, which also features a range of other on-site amenities, is due to open in August.

He joins Star after more than nine years as managing director of Expedia Australia. He also spent time working in a director and executive role for Asia-focused travel websites.

Prior to this, he worked in sales roles for Sofitel Brisbane Central and the Constellation Hotel Group. Earlier in his career, Finch also spent time with Carlton Crest Hotel Brisbane and the Millennium Mayfair London.

“I am elated to be joining Star in what I believe is the most important and exciting time in the history of the business,” Finch said. “The opening of The Star Brisbane in 2024 will be significant not just for this business but for Queensland.

“Together with the team, it will be my ambition to drive a high-performance culture, ensuring five-star services and experiences for the millions who will visit us each year.”

Fresh approach for Star

Finch’s appointment marks the latest stage of an organisational restructure at Star. The group is creating property-based operational business units, covering locations in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney.

In addition to Finch, Jess Mellor has been promoted to lead the Gold Coast. Star is yet to make an appointment for its Sydney venue, with Scot Wharton having left last April.

 “I’m delighted to welcome Daniel to the team as part of our organisational restructure,” Star CEO and managing director Robbie Cooke said. “We will have a CEO in each of our venues in Sydney, the Gold Coast and Brisbane. We are also well advanced in our search for our CEO.

“Daniel brings exceptional leadership capability to Star, having developed high performance teams while overseeing Expedia brands and businesses in Australia and New Zealand. 

“His experience in launching new hotels is also a considerable asset as we prepare to open Star Brisbane and the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane precinct. It is a transformative development almost 10 years in the making.”

Star reprieve over Queensland licence suspension

The appointment also follows November’s news that Star has been given an additional six months to demonstrate it is fit to operate its land-based casinos in Queensland. This meant a planned licence suspension in the Australian state has been pushed back.

Star was sanctioned in Queensland in December 2022 over a series of failings. It was fined AU$100.0m (£51.9m/€60.7m/US$66.0m) and was told its licence would be suspended.

The group was found “unsuitable” to hold a licence in Queensland following an inquiry into operations at Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane. 

It was given 12 months to resolve such issues and bring operations in line with the demands of regulators. The deadline for this was set at 1 December but has since been pushed back six months.

Star now has until 31 May 2024 to satisfy the demands of Queensland authorities.

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